Slovak qualifier Jana Cepelova drew on the memories of beating Simona Halep last year on Court One as she put paid to Garbine Muguruza’s hopes of adding the Wimbledon title to her trophy cabinet.
Cepelova’s confidence never faltered, from the time she stepped onto Court One to the moment she sealed the match 6-3 6-2 against the French Open champion from Spain on her first match point.
“From the beginning, I feel really good on the court, because I had such good memories from the last year. I beat Halep there,” she told reporters.
“I just believed in myself every point, every game.”
Muguruza, seeded one rung higher than Romanian Halep’s three last year, was an even bigger conquest, having also reached the final in 2015.
Having brought down one of the tips for the title this year, Cepelova’s next opponent, Czech 28th seed Lucie Safarova, would be right to be wary on Friday – even though the match is on Court Three, rather than her lucky charm hunting ground.
“I like these courts. I like to play against biggest stars, of course, against the champions. And I try to keep winning against these champions players,” Cepelova said.
Muguruza had laboured in the first round against Italy’s Camila Giorgi on Monday, eventually winning through in three sets, but had not lost against a player ranked outside the top 100 since last August on the hardcourts of Cincinnati.
“I think my energy was missing a little bit today,” she told reporters.
“Today during the match, and after the match, I’m like, it’s a tough day today. I feel empty a little bit, and I start to be sick. But I think it was a little bit of a combination.”
Agnieszka Radwanska avoided becoming the second of the top three women’s seeds to lose, beating Croatia’s Ana Konjuh 6-2 4-6 9-7 after her opponent took a tumble and needed treatment in the penultimate game.
Konjuh, ranked 103rd in the world, had three match points herself but, with the contest poised at 7-7 and 40-15 on Radwanska’s serve, the Croat stepped on a ball she was chasing down and rolled her right ankle, collapsing at the chairs in tears.
She played on, heavily strapped, but with her movement limited, the third-seeded Pole held her nerve and took the match – booed by the crowd for playing a drop shot.
Eugenie Bouchard reminded a Centre Court crowd why not long ago she was being billed as tennis’s new golden girl when she crushed the Wimbledon hopes of Britain’s 16th seed Johanna Konta.
Since reaching the final in 2014 the Canadian’s career has faltered while Konta has risen from obscurity, reaching the semi-finals of this year’s Australian Open and rising into the top 20.
But the 22-year-old Bouchard made a mockery of her world ranking of 48 to win 6-3 1-6 6-1 and set up a third-round clash with Slovakia’s 19th seed Dominika Cibulkova.
A time violation warning, a few spots of rain and the thunderous groundstrokes of her rival could not deter Venus Williams as she reached the third round at with a 7-5 4-6 6-3 win over Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari.
Madison Keys, the woman tipped as the most likely American successor to the Williams sisters, powered to a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory against Kirsten Flipkens.